Iâ€™ve wanted to play this game for ages. Iâ€™ve always been a fan of tennis games, so it was a good opportunity to check out â€˜Virtua Tennis 2009â€™. I was not sure what to expect, hopefully great game play and graphics as that always drives me towards games. With the controller in my hand and I looked on with excitement as the game began. Now the beginning of the game introduces to me some of the amazing cut scenes of all the various tennis players that are within the game. Iâ€™m praying at this point that I can be at some decent level against these fine players.
At first sighting I soon realize the difference in the quality of the graphics from the previous title. The graphics look polished and crisp and well detailed. Iâ€™m impressed already. As I start the game up, I can choose from various options ranging from my personal VT to the World tour. This is where I choose my female license and as I start scrolling through the player presets, I find a basic player as a starting point and I begin to customize my player. I really love this part of customizing your character as it adds a more personal feel to the player. With my basic player chosen I begin to create my personal characteristics from eye colour to the shape of my body. I had a lot of fun in this area as I played with the settings. At one point I laughed out loud when I made the cheeks of my player balloon out to the size of a melon. Great area for changing the appearance from a dull girl to a more attractive player, so Iâ€™ve customized my rather groovy player into someone looking half decent.
The next area is represented by a model earth which you traverse in order to find subsequent events and special areas. These will include your home, tennis academy, tennis store, tournamanents and practice games. At home is an ideal place to rest, which is free for a week, but a two week holiday will cost me $2,000 and an energy drink $300. What was the energy drink made out of? Gold?!. I opted for the weekâ€™s rest. Home also shows you your calendar so you can keep up to date with future tournaments.
After I finished in this section. Tour coach Tim Henman pops up on the screen to say hello. How nice of him and goes onto introduce himself. Now that weâ€™ve met Tim, I can explore the â€˜Online HQâ€™, this is where you can enter the SEGA online tournament or play ranked matches against live opponents from around the world. The question is do I feel brave enough and if I am could I withstand the humiliation of losing to them if it all goes wrong?!.
There are 12 mini games to choose from on the map. Not all of these games are available at the beginning of your career. Iâ€™ve tried Pirate wars, which I was completely hopeless on, shopping dash which has you running around the court collecting various shopping items. That one really keeps you on your toes and the last one was called â€˜Blockbustersâ€™ in which you hit the tennis ball at the coloured blocks that fall from the sky to score a fixed number of points. It was quite good.
Grab a chance to check out all the equipment and accessories. Donâ€™t do what I did and waste your money frivolously. In the options is a new addition called â€˜Lucky dipâ€™. This is where you can buy boxes, but you have no clue what is in them. They cost $5,000 and being the curious soul that I am, I had the urge to open the boxes early on in the game. First few times of random picking resulted in empty boxes, but eventually I did win something and no Iâ€™m not about to tell you what that item was, so your going to have to play the game to found out. You know me, I donâ€™t like spoilers.
The colours of the courts on the different surfaces have changed and I loved the bright pink court as I darted back and forth. Another thing I noticed being a novice player, is that when you first start off playing your audience is really really small, but as you progress and your rank improves, so does the size of your audience. I quite liked playing the court at night time with the flood lights on, which made it feel very atmospheric.
The playability was what you would expect from a tennis game and the over the shoulder view offered a great new insight into how the player looks from the court. The new view was excellent, but at times the depth perception made it difficult to judge where the net was. Although this is not ideal it didnâ€™t detract from the playability of the game. In fact the random mistakes created by the view made it more realistic.
The game itself is brilliant. I remember when I first had this game on the dreamcast and even back then it was a firm favourite of mine. Itâ€™s probably one of the only sportâ€™s games I will actually play and I can see myself playing this game over and over again. Itâ€™s a must for all tennis fans and if youâ€™re up for the challenge, then be prepared to be beaten by the best tennis stars around.
|Name||Virtua Tennis 2009|
|Format||PS3, Xbox 360,PC, Nintendo Wii|
|Release Date||29th May 2009|
|Age Rating||3 years and over|